Why The Revival is the Best Tag Team in WWE


With an overly-aggressive appearance on this Wednesday’s NXT, The Revival showed again why they’re the best tag team in all of WWE.

When Sheamus lost the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns on a Monday Night Raw in December, it apparently wasn’t the end of the world for the Irishman (DID YOU KNOW: Sheamus is Irish?). Seeing the Celtic Warrior’s behavior on subsequent WWE programming, you’d think he had lost justt another match.

When Kevin Owens lost the Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania, his rage wasn’t directed at Zack Ryder for grabbing his championship; rather, he forgot about the belt and promptly went after old rival Sami Zayn, seemingly more upset at Sami for interrupting him during the match than at Ryder for taking the title.

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When Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, the Revival, lost the NXT Tag Team Titles to American Alpha at NXT Takeover: Dallas? They got MAD. This Wednesday’s NXT was our first look at the former champs since Takeover, and they behaved the way you’d expect aggrieved heels to behave–they beat the crap out of Jamokes No. 1 & No. 2 (thanks, Corey Graves) with extreme prejudice. And to put a cherry on the butt-kicking sundae, they jumped the Hype Bros later in the show for no real reason other than they’re MAD, dammit!

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It’s this attention to storyline, psychology, and overall detail that elevates Dash & Dawson from the pack of what has become a suddenly great tag team division, and establishes them as perhaps the best tandem on the roster, despite still working in “developmental.” Sure, the Revival’s move set and double teams are top notch, and their gimmick as Southern tag team throwbacks to the age of Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson gives them a unique old-school hook, but with Dash & Dawson, it’s all about the little things, which they pull off with seamless aplomb.

Fire up your WWE Network subscription and go back to that epic Tag Title match at Takeover: Dallas (which will likely be the best tag team match you see in WWE in 2016), and take a close look at the work of both teams. While Jason Jordan and Chad Gable deserved their victory and are probably the second best pure tag team in all of WWE, this match proves that The Revival are the company’s gold standard.

After an initial flurry of offense from the challengers that fired up the crowd early, the storyline of the match settled into a series of sequences where The Revival used subtle, dastardly tag team trickery to stay one step ahead of their opponents. Early in the match, Dash, standing on the apron, helps his partner gain an advantage by purposely attempting an illegal tag with Dawson outside the ring. With the referee preoccupied with forcing Dash back to the apron, Dawson catches Jordan with an eye rake and takes control. No one else in the company is feigning blatant ignorance of the rules in order to distract the ref. It’s glorious.

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Later, Gable falls victim to a blind tag when he lifts Dawson for an atomic drop but doesn’t see Dash bail out his partner with a tag. Gable pays for it when he eats a vicious Dash Wilder clothesline on the floor. Still later, we get one of the most entertaining heel tag moves in years when Dash crawls under the ring to sneak up on Jordan, yanking Jason off the apron and denying a hot tag from Gable. Genius! Every other minute delivers a fresh wrinkle from a pair of developmental wrestlers who are already teaching master classes in the art of tag team graps.

Finally, after staying just one half-step ahead of American Alpha all match, The Revival slips and gives the challengers an opening: Dawson lifts Gable overhead in AA’s corner, missing a blind tag by Jordan in the same manner Gable missed the blind tag earlier in the match. Jordan absolutely blindsides Dawson with an extra-vicious shoulder tackle in the corner, and one Grand Amplitude later, we’ve got new NXT Tag Team Champions.

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Yes, Jordan and Gable are the champions, and deservedly so–no team short of the New Day has captured fan imagination the way these two have. But are they the World’s Greatest Tag Team? Not just yet. Right now, that title may just belong to the Revival.